Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has described as “unacceptable” the fact that 500 people are currently on a waiting list for neurology services at Letterkenny University Hospital.  New correspondence from the hospital reveals that waiting times for a routine appointment is 3 years.

Deputy McConalogue explained, “The waiting times for neurology appointments at Letterkenny University Hospital are completely unacceptable.  The fact that there are now 500 waiting for appointments shows the scale of the backlogs in the hospital.  This is leaving patients with conditions such as MS, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions have to endure these excessively long wait times to see a neurologist,” explained Deputy McConalogue.

“It had been anticipated that a second neurologist, currently based in Sligo, would help to ease the burden significantly.  It took some time for the post to be filled and now that it has, it has been revealed that that neurologist will only be providing 2 clinic days per month in Letterkenny University Hospital.  While this may provide some relief, the fact that the consultant will only be available for 2 days a month leaves a lot to be desired and will do little to address the lengthy waiting lists.

“Our neurology services are severely under-resourced and overburdened. Much more needs to be done to address this.

“There are over 700,000 people dealing with some form of neurological illness in Ireland.  Currently there are more than 5,000 patients waiting over a year to see a neurologist. This is unacceptable. I will continue to push the Government to advance the neurological services in the North West and across the country to bring us in line with our European counterparts,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.